Wednesday, 5 December 2012

One man went to Mo'

Movember has been and gone, thirty days down of facial fuzzinees all in the aid of Men’s health. During the month we put together a collection of different events to try and raise our target of £1000. There were a few quizzes going on, teamed with raffles and collections on the bar.

 Blakey.


 
 Stu, Clachaig Team Captain.

We are very honoured to receive your help and support and are overwhelmed to announce that we made it! Just 5 days before the close of Movember we were flagging two hundred and twenty pounds behind but with that added push we managed to break the £1,000 barrier, taking the amount earned right up to £1,094! Our collection, with your help, made our team rise to 2,562nd out of all the teams in Scotland participating.

We wouldn’t have been able to do it if it wasn’t for the very big helping hand from Willie Stewart, who brought in a whooping £224 to our team which saw him claim the Movember prize, which was a very nice Benromach stow bag as advertised in our November eNews.

 Willie. Star Performer. One man went to Mo'.

All that's left to do now is remove the facial hair and feel that little bit colder during what's looking like a very cold December but I'm sure across the country there's more than a few happier wives and girlfriends!#

 My moustache brings all the girls to the yard.
And they're like, it's better than yours
Damn right it's better than yours


 So for them thank you for your patience and support, and to you the loyal Clachaig base of supporters; thank you very much for your generosity during Movember, and we hope you're all set for a wonderful Christmas.

Monday, 26 November 2012

One mo' week

This is it folks, the finishing line is a mere five days away when our wives, girlfriends and children can stop mocking our epic growth of facial hair! So far we have managed to rake in a whooping £780, which is ever so close to our target of the big £1,000.


 The next five days are when it really comes together; even the slow growers among us will have something fashionable to show off! But can we reach the target we set all those days ago when our top lips were as smooth as babies bottoms?

With the right amount of hard work, determination and luck; Yes we can!

Friday 30th Movember will be the last official night so we’re working on a fun little quiz to aid to our collection, and we’ll also be selling tickets for our big, ‘End of Movember’ weekend raffle. There’s also collection boxes situated on the bar as a wee helping hand, which will be totalled up after the weekend.

If you’re planning to be with us this weekend, we thank you for your commitment to our cause. If you’re not going to be here, you could still help us out over at http://mobro.clachaig.co with an online donation.

This has been a really fun month, or at least it seems to have been judging from the giggles coming from the female members of staff! As it comes to a close, all eyes are centring on our Christmas Party, the one you’re all invited to, on 14th December… You have heard about this one, yes?

Monday, 12 November 2012

Clachaig - a license to thrill

So who's been to see Skyfall? The latest offering from James Bond seems to have pulled in a few good reviews and has rekindled the affection for 007 blockbusters. A long way from Goldfinger and his hat flinging sidekick Oddjob perhaps? But the apparent success of Skyfall should come as no surprise, as it does take James Bond back to his roots. Yes, left at the top of Glencoe and down the road into Glen Etive - the location of the former Fleming family estate.

Surprise Yourself TV ad  - looks familiar?

Last week I found myself in Glasgow. I'd already been in to Xscape and the newly refurbished Snow Factor, the slightly larger relation of Kinlochleven's Ice Factor. After fulfilling the commitments for the day, we popped back to Xscape and the late evening showing of Skyfall.

The preamble to the movie contains loads of adverts featuring Bond related products. Buy the watch, drive the car, smell like a tart in a boudoir,... all that sort of stuff. But as if to enforce Glencoe's credentials as a homeland for Bond, there amongst all the 007 marketing was Clachaig's (albeit fleeting) appearance. Ok, so it was part of VisitScotland's Surprise Yourself campaign, but it was definitely Clachaig!

Check it out for yourself on YouTube - and pay particular attention at about 47 seconds in.


Sunday, 4 November 2012

Movember - a flying start!

The candles within the pumpkins are extinguished and the dried blood has been washed from our faces. Now it’s the morning after and you’re no doubt collecting your bearings after another great Saturday night and of course the closing of Octoberfest.

The Clachaig Team on Saturday night - a grim bunch

It’s been a really good few weeks full of high spirits and entertainment and we hope you’ve enjoyed sampling our widely caught range of real ales, and kept a record of which ones you had, which ones you missed and which ones you’re determined to grab hold of next time.

For us it’s the time of year now to bring out the clothes and chemicals located in one of the cupboards somewhere right next to the elbow grease and get to work on putting a new shine on our surroundings, ready for the extravaganza that is Christmas and Hogmanay.

In case you’ve forgotten, there is a very special HogRoast evening taking place on 14th December, which will be admission via ticket so I’ll advise you to locate one as soon as possible. And then of course Hogmanay weekend is looking to be one for the history books, especially with Kinky Karma booked for the big night of the 31st.

 The Captain

A big thanks from the captain of our Movember team, Stuart Price, too. The raffle we held last night in aid of men’s health raised a total of £150 to the cause. Added to what we’ve raised so far, and we’re currently on a £513 total already. Which is an amazing amount for four days, and terrifically humbling. If you’d like to join our team over www.mobro.co/clachaig then we’re giving away a Henri Lloyd stow bag for whoever raises the most.

Once again, thank you for your visit during Octoberfest and we look forward to welcoming you back to the Glen as soon as possible!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Movember is here!

Since nothing is as scary as a Doctor with massive fingers about to check your prostate, we here at Clachaig Inn have decided to tie in our efforts for Movember in to a little Halloween night of our own. 

On Saturday 3rd of November we’ll be having a wee dress up behind the bar and we encourage you guys to join in too; who knows you might even end up with some sort of freebie if you’re that good!




During the night we’re also doing a bit of a raffle for your chance to win some official Clachaig Propaganda. So you lucky winners can go home looking highly fashionable in a Clachaig t-shirt, and our funding for Movember can continue to build.


We hope you help us out through the month but just in case we don’t see you guys feel free to make a donation at http://uk.movember.com/mospace/2916337

You can even join our team, and whoever raises the most money will receive a fantastic Henry Lloyd stow bag, courtesy of Benromach Malt Whisky, ideal for those trips away to Glencoe. 

JOIN US IN OUR QUEST FOR THE BEST MO' & WIN!


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Welcome to Movember

There’s a chill in the air, it won’t be long until the snow is arriving and we’re all off to do as much skiing as possible outside of working hours. However, before then we need to do something a little extra to keep warm. Spend hundreds of pounds on new winter clothing? Install extra heaters in to staff accommodation?

While tossing ideas around, there was one idea that stuck to the wall. It was an idea that could end up being a lot of fun, one that could help raise awareness to a cause close to all of us men, and even raise some money for charity. That’s right, this November at Clachaig Inn is becoming ‘Movember’!



Since 2004, the Movember Foundation charity has run Movember events to raise awareness and funds for men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer and depression, in Australia and New Zealand.
In 2007, events were launched in Ireland, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom, Israel, South Africa, Taiwan and the United States. It has spread from Australia to South Africa, Europe and North America. In 2012 the Global Journal listed Movember as one of the top 100 NGOs (non government organization) in the world.

With the continued build and success of this event around the World, we’re sure that most people will already know about it. But what you might not know is what we’re doing for it.

From the top to the bottom of our family run business we’ll be taking part in growing some face fuzz, and hopefully looking as ridiculous as possible (not too challenging for some of us).  We’ll keep you posted via our Facebook page and creating photo galleries but we’re very happy to say that these galleries are all for you too! Yes, come and join us with your top lip caterpillars.

Send in the pictures of your effort as the month goes on to be added to our gallery, the photo with the most ‘likes’ will recieve a free T-shirt and we might well have a few spot prizes to hand, though we will naturally favour effort, enthusiasm and artistic interpretation over sheer chimp-like hairiness. And that’s not just an end of month reward, oh no! 

But that’s not all!

We’ll be holding quizzes through the month and doing a bit of fund raising baking, AND…
If you’re participating via the Movember website, sign up to our Clachaig team for a very special promotion. Whoever raises the most cash for Movember, will receive a superb Henri Lloyd Stow Bag courtesy of Benromach Whisky, ideal for packing for your next trip to Glencoe.  Just another incentive for you guys to help us, help a good cause!


So to all Mo’ Bros and Mo’ Sistas, good luck in your fundraising and we thank you for support!

Thursday, 4 October 2012

The Clachaig Winter Safety Lecture Series

As soon as we say goodbye to summer, we find ourselves in the midst of planning for winter, not least of which is FebruaryFest and the Clachaig Winter Safety Lecture Series.

At this stage, in early October, some of the detail is confirmed, and some we're still fine tuning. One staple of the winter scene in February is the Winter Mountain Safety Lectures. Originally set up as a collaboration between Peter Daynes and Andy Fanshawe, the then National Officer of the BMC, the lectures have been running for the last 25 years. In more recent years the series has been co-ordinated by the Mountaineering Council of Scotland under their mountain safety initiative.

However, we faltered a little this year as the dreaded 'austerity measures' looked like we might be struggling to present a full line up.

The good news is that a sponsor for the 2013 has been secured, and the lectures will be back with a vengeance for this coming winter. So, once again, in proud association with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, and our new sponsor, Mammut, we look forward to another season of educating and informative lectures, delivered free of charge to anyone who would care to come along.

Final details by the beginning of November but the dates will be

Tuesday 5th February
Tuesday 12th February
Tuesday 19th February
Tuesday 26th February








Wednesday, 3 October 2012

And the winner is...

In September we offered the extremely desirable prize of a bottle of Benromach 10 year old malt for the best photo of "fun on a trip to Glencoe". We weren't looking for fancy landscapes, or carefully composed masterpieces, but simply something that said 'I went to Glencoe and I had some fun'.

We received far more entries than we ever imagined we would, and the photos featured a huge range of subjects, from bare feet in the Boots Bar, to bare arses on mountain sides.

All the entries can be viewed in our Facebook gallery.

At the risk of sounding like dear old John Craven on Countryfile, we seriously took a huge amount of pleasure from sifting through the many photos. Thanks! And choosing a winner has been really hard. However, choose we must, and this is the winning entry.


Congratulations to Guarav Shandilya for this cracker. We can't imagine a more fun time than a bit of a road trip in the old vee dub bus, a bit of camping, a walk up a hill (the Pap as it happens), and a few beers at the pub. Good one! Fun times.

Shandy wins the coveted bottle of Benromach 10 Year Old. Pop it in the locker ready for the next trip!

Monday, 3 September 2012

July's competition entries


In July's edition of our eNews we offered a prize of assorted Clachaig goodies. All that was required to win was an email telling us why yours was the most deserving case in just one sentence. As usual, we were overwhelmed by the number of responses, and choosing a winner turned into a tough job. Here's a few of the highlights.

·         I sweat a lot and could do with a new T-shirt. (Mmm, nice!)

·         This is the last chance saloon for me , you've got to gimme a break ,I'm a three time loser, I  ain't never won nuffin in my whole miserable life, you could change things for me, I could start

·         a whole new existance wearing my new t-shirt, I'm feeling more positive already just thinking about it. Don't let me down now. (Emotional blackmail?)

·         I'm a fully fledged Clachaiger, wha loves Clachaigin it in the Clachaig, aw year roond..! 

·         I would love to win all the goodies from this month’s prize fund so that I can wear everything at once and turn myself into a mobile advertising hoarding, spreading the good word from the most fantastic place on earth.

·         I'll be back once again this weekend - camping at the Red Squirrel. But mainly because I know how to appreciate the Clachaig and the bar staff properly. At the last beer festival I was at there I managed to sample each beer on the list! Next time I will drink half pints though ;)  (Alas, more than one sentence!)

·         I don't have any memorabilia of my favourite Scottish Inn. (Get on and buy some!)

·         I am Scottish and my girlfriend is American, she loves my Scottishness and everything about Scotland and it would be a great gift for her to show off to all her American family and friends.

·         I think I'm the deserving winner of the prize because we stayed at the Oak Tree Lodge in summer 2009 and on the one hand the shirts will remind us to come back again but on the other hand Clachaig would get international promotion for an unbeatable low price as well. (Nice, international advertsing. Like that idea!)

·         I deserve this month's prize because "it's probably the best prize in the world" (and also because I need something to keep me going until my next visit to the Great Glen!). (Surely that should be greatest glen, as the great glen is somewhere entirely different!)

·         I would look SO good in this! (Succinct. No waffle. Like it.)

·         As a philosopher, I could quibble about what it might mean to "deserve" the prize from Clachaig this week, but getting down to brass tacks I'd love to have a whiskey-drinking shirt to finish off my bottle of Clachaig malt that I brought home with me a few weeks ago to NY, and another shirt to wear to spread the joy, and the buff because I wear them ALL THE TIME! 
·         For the best advertising and world wide reach south of the border for your wonderful Inn and Self catering cabins  (coming back yet again this New Year - 4th time with even more friends)  - using the slogan to carry your message  "The body where other bodies don't reach".

·         "Last year my husband was cycling and I was on my mobility scooter on our way from Glencoe village to the Clachaig Inn and almost there when my mobility scooter broke down and refused to move and I had to wait for him to cycle back to where we were staying to get our car to come and rescue me, so when I make this journey again in September this year I would love to arrive wearing your T-shirt."

·         Just wearing a Clachaig sweat shirt will give me so much kudos  among my mates
·         I deserve this prize so I can walk around County Mayo in the Buff and tell anyone who stares in admiration that they can go to The Clachaig Inn if they want to look as good as me. 

·         I deserve it, cause i'm sitting in my office in munich right now, weather is perfect scottish and i need something to help me over the next 10 month before i'm back in the wee bit hills and glens.

·         Been to the Clachiag inn for the past 3 years now, food expensive, beer crap, hospitality even worse that's gotta be worth the prize in compensation alone.  (Gutsy! Going for the anti-approach. Like it!)

·         I visited Clachaig during the ‘sixties as a young lad, many a great evening with an atmosphere you could cut with a sgian dubh! Travelled the world since then, now living in the farthest part of the Czech republic on the Polish border.  But that doesn't stop me from getting on my bike, (well car, ferry and a long drive) at least once a year to return for the best beer, service, best staff and the best view from the garden in the world.  Coming back in August with a few friends (Czech people), and our itinerary agreed is: stay in a cottage in Glencoe, catch a few fish for supper, ladies do a bit of shopping in Fort Bill, and the men adjourn to Claggy Aggy’s for a few falling down waters.  Heaven.  (Dedicated follower. Deserving case!)

·         My resistance has all but been broken by the missus, my favourite t-shirt is all but disintegrated and I am being forced to throw it out, so if you could consider me as a desperate case especially as our wonderful British summer is not as warm as it should be!

·         Due to my wife and children spending all my money I don't have enough for myself and if I don't win the T-Shirt etc I will be forced to come into boots bar topless, which at 57 and sporting a beer belly equivalent to 7 months pregnant is not a pretty sight!  :)


Because i live in wales and don't get to visit the Clachaig much.......and if that wasn't bad enough i'm on the verge of disproving the americans and becoming a merman to cope with all the rain we've had!Scotland and places such as Glencoe are like good morning coffee if you taste it ones, you want more and more!

Because I have seen the Clachaig boots bar renovated thrice over!Me, because I am utterly devastated to learn that mermaids do not officially exist and need cheering up. (Mermaids were topical when the competition was launched.)

 Because I'm not Bob Diamond. (Again, topical.)

Sorry, we haven't been able to list them all. It's been a highly entertaining break from the routine sorting through them all. The judges actually struggled to find an outright winner, and actually decided that there should also be a runner up prize. 


Runner up:

If I'm not wearing your Clachaig sweatshirt, or Clachaig t-shirt, I'll certainly be in the Buff.

And the winner is:
because if Carlsberg made pubs..they'd make them like this.. .. Clachaig you are the substance of my dreams & the bringer of both peace, excitement & endless smiles, not to mention awesome beer & wicked food..an oasis in an otherwise mad world..truly magical..!!



Once again, a huge thanks for all your entries and your ongoing support of all things Clachaig.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Water, Water, everywhere!

Let’s face it, there’s never a good time for a water tank to burst, but for it to happen on a Saturday night in the height of the season with the Inn fit to bursting – if you'll pardon the pun, it really doesn’t get much worse.

Our old tank, cut-up for removal
Of course, all you lucky folks with a B&Q at the end of the street can count your blessings but here in the Glen we are a long way from the nearest plumbing supplier far less one that opens on the Sabbath. However, we managed to limp through breakfast thanks to innovative staff and cheery guests who graciously accepted bottled water to brush their teeth with many insisting on carrying their own buckets to flush the loos.

"Right", said Fred, "did anyone measure the gap?"

Monday morning the plumber & joiners arrive and after some minor adjustments to the loft hatch the tanks are in place ready for Gavin to do his magic. Pity the local supplier was 'out of stock' on a pretty major piece of the jigsaw so Keith headed off on a 160 mile round trip to Inverness to get the crucial part.

"Now, where does this go?, wish I'd brought me specs!"
It's been an eventful couple of days, the front desk has been bombarded by requests for information from guests, customers & staff alike. Without water & working toilets we had to decant some of our residents to another hotel, bars were unable to open and many folk requiring refreshments & food were turned away. The impact on the business has been significant and it's not just about the pounds, shillings & pence that are missing from our tills, we'll get over that - although not so sure about the cost of putting it right - what we care about is the disappointed look on the faces of folk who turned up on our doorstep only to be turned away, many of whom we may never see again, a missed opportunity to offer our unique brand of  hospitality.

Gavin: Tank Commander!
Our apologies to those folk we couldn't look after and a very big thank you to our staff & guests who put up with us during this trying time. We talk a lot about the recovery when things go wrong, and occasionally you don't necessarily need to go the extra mile, you just have to get your finger out, get on with it and do the best you can.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Sizzling start to Mayfest

From House-Martin to House-Band





Fantastic start to Mayfest 2012 as Paul Heaton opened the celebrations on Friday night and entertained a packed Boots bar with a fine selection of solo material along with some great tunes from his back catalogue. What a cracker! Amazed he had so much energy given he had cycled from Ullapool to get here.
Woodsie and Stirton
Boots Bar virgins Mad Ferret were in great form for their Saturday night debut, normally we 'trial' new acts on quieter nights first but it was straight to top billing for Woodsie and Stirton and they certainly lived up to their own blurb with an extremely tight, technical performances with a driving knowledge and passion for Scottish and Irish folk music. A great night with much foot-stomping and hand-clapping.

Sunny outside so I may have to stack some keg

We went through a fair selection of ales over the weekend and judging by the picture above we've got some tidying up to do, mind you with weather like this we shoudn't be short of volunteers. Now to the cellar to see whats coming to a hand pull near you!
Loch Lomond Ales
Should you decide to take the high road or indeed the low road to Clachaig this week you're sure to find a great selection of Scottish cask ales. New to our taps this week are 4 fine ales from Loch Lomond Brewery. We could tell you what they taste like but why don't you pop round and find out for yourself.

Plenty of fun on the way as Mayfest continues this week and into the long bank holiday weekend with live music tonight from Mak-A-Din, Bonnie & Jim on Friday night and some jigs guaranteed from Finn on Saturday night. Music starts at 9pm in the Boots Bar. check out our What's On page for details.

It wouldn't be a beer festival without our ever popular Ale Tasting Masterclass and you can sample some great ales from Cairngorm Brewery this Thursday from 8pm in the Snug and on Tuesday River Leven Ales will be here to pass on some more cask ale enlightenment! 

See you at the bar!

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Heroes...not just for one day!


Bank holidays always test our service provision to the limit as wave after wave of thirsty & hungry customers descend on us. No sooner has the queue in the boots bar been cleared when another has formed in the lounge snaking its way passed reception and out the front door. 

Residents, passing visitors, seasoned veterans mixed with a generous helping of newbie’s eager to sample our unique atmosphere stand in line, mainly in good humour – well, they are on holiday after all.
The weather helped this year, fantastic hill days with dawn to dusk sunshine, dry as well & not a midgie in sight.

The frontline staff take it in their stride, drinks are dispensed with great alacrity & food orders for all the starving including groups of anywhere between 10 & 30 are dispatched faster than lightning. In the searing heat of the kitchen only the strong survive, these guys are like the SAS - only they don’t take prisoners. Orders are orders and you get what you asked for, timely, hot and don’t dare drop it on the way out.

There is no let up during food service and little relief when the last meals leave the kitchen. In here the chefs have to scrub down and plan the early start required to prepare everything from scratch all over again. Meanwhile through in the boots bar the music is about to start & the big clean up is in progress. Very soon dozens of trays laden with glasses, crockery & debris are added to the already groaning piles behind the scenes……spare a thought for the brave soul who has drawn the short straw, buried somewhere between the sink & the dishwasher.


Back at the frontline the multitude hammer the bar round after round. Ales are changed faster than ever and whisky flies off the shelf, meanwhile the band have the audience stomping their feet & clapping their hands as the clock ticks away on another epic night. Shelves are restocked, floors are swept & toilets are cleaned….who fancies that job? Whilst the chosen trustees are busy with the abacus others serve ‘one for the road’ to a few hardy residents.

In the morning the housekeeping team grit their teeth, they know why the dining room is not quite in the same state that it was left and quickly tidy up before serving up hearty breakfasts with a smile to all our residents, some carry rucksacks with packed lunches whilst others carry hangovers. At reception the dawn patrol bid farewell to our guests who report ‘a great night’, ‘a whale of a time’ and ‘we’ll be back’

To all our guests & customers: We thank you for your company and hope that somewhere amongst the chaos of the bank holiday weekend we managed to look after you.

To our staff: There are times when you test my patience with your shenanigans and you may feel that you are underpaid, undervalued and overworked however; The contribution, resilience & good humour that you all demonstrate under pressure & under strength time & time again is hugely appreciated. 

Thank you!

Gordon

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Whisky Galore

 It's a bit of a cheesey title for a blog post, but it's actually the only one that really fits the bill when it comes to telling you about our couple of days away courtesey of whisky merchants, Gordon & Macphail, last week.

The great thing about working in a small business is that you can choose who you do business with and how you do that business. Over the last couple of years, we've been much more particular about this, and we've been slowly discovering more about our products and our suppliers, to make sure they fit with the way we want Clachaig to trade.

Benromach Distillery. Established in 1898.
Ales have long since been scrutinised, and Guy has spent his fair share of time collecting seaweed for William's Bros and their Kelpie Seaweed Ale, and digging out the mash tuns at the brewery. Attentions for this week were firmly focussed on whisky, and who were we to turn down an invitation from Gordon & Macphail, owners of the Benromach Distillery, to pop along and work in the distillery for a day.



Speyside Cooperage, Craigellachie
First off, was a visit to the Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie. You can't make a good whisky without a good cask, so we guess that learning what makes a good cask is fairly important if you're going to be distilling some whisky.



Rather than making new casks, the job in hand was to reduce the size of a batch of casks ready for a taking to a nearby distillery.

 

These guys are paid on piece rates. The more they produce, the more they earn. This might explain why they were going an incredible pace, running around the workshop floor like worker ants dressed in red polo shirts. It's a fascinating place, and should you find yourselves in Speyside, we can highly recommend that you call in for a look see. There's also the obligatory tea room for cakes too!

A morning's work

Next we moved on to Elgin and Gordon & Macphail's HQ. Our whisky has been coming from here for a couple of decades, so it was great to see who we've been dealing with for all these years. But best of all was the tour of the bonded warehouses and the racks and racks of maturing whisky. Just when you think you've seen it all, around another corner appears another endless tier of casks.


I'm sure I saw the ark of the covenant stored in here somewhere
There's obviously a fair bit of Benromach here, after all they own the distillery, but as merchants there's also any number of other distillerys' whisky, all slowly maturing till they're ready for bottling in the adjacent plant room. There's one or two rather interesting looking casks lurking amongst the regular stuff. However, as we've signed the official secrets act, we couldn't possibly tell you what we've seen.

Trying to get to grips with the subtleties of flavour
And then there's the Gordon and Macphail shop. A little gem in the heart of Elgin, stocked with wines, beers, a deli counter and, naturally, a fairly impressive whisky room. Their 800 whiskies makes our 250 look a little amateurish! And then there was a bit of tasting. To make good whisky, you have to understand a little about flavour. So we paid good attention to this bit, though I don't recall where all those empty glasses came from.


Strangely enough, they didn't offer a tasting of this bottle
So, day 1 was a real learning journey, taking in the many elements of the whisky production and supply chain. But day 2 was about some hard graft. We were passed to the safe but rather huge hands of Mike, the distiller at Benromach Distillery. We were his apprentices for the day.


Gordon getting hands on with the cleaning in the wash back
 Now, we could tell you about malt, milling, mashing, wash backs, the wash still, the spirit still, the spirit safe, the SRWV and the many other tricks of the trade that us trained professionals now know all about. But we won't as we'd probably blind you with too much science, and besides, my brain still hurts from trying to get to grips with it all. Suffice to say, been there, done that, and we reckon that the Benromach 10 year old in 2022 will be a particularly cracking wee tipple.

The business end of the process

Yet more casks. First fill for these ones, for the best results.
Acres of bonded warehouses, again full of the good stuff

Some bloke called Charles seems to have signed this one. The first
cask produced after the distillery was re-opened by Gordon & Machail in 1998
So all in all an absolutely tremendous trip. And a certificate to go with. Like, it seems, Prince Charles, we're now in the exclusive club of being Honorary Stillmen. A huge thank you to Richard and Stephen at G&M and Keith and Mike at the distillery for the hospitality and a very educational and worthwhile couple of days.

Consultation commissions  now being taken.
Right what are we doing next week?  Where does our wine come from...?

Thursday, 29 March 2012

Glencoe Activities

 It looks so wrong, but it feels so right. That's probably the best way we can think of describing segways - one of the latest experiences to be available through Glencoe Activities. For a start picture the look on the faces of the motorists on their way to Oban as they see this sight just over the other side of the wall. They obviously didn't know what to make of it!


A few of us managed to sneak away from Clachaig on another glorious summer-like spring morning and popped down to the Dragon'sTooth Club House for a shot on the segways. You can visibly see the apprehension on people's faces before they step aboard. However, with the expert instruction from our guide, the transformation to a big toothy grin is almost instantaneous, and you very quickly get to grips with the bizarre looking machines.


 Within minutes we were off. A little bit of time getting to grips with basic forwards, backwards, stop, start, on, off,and then slightly more challenging manoeuvres - getting up and down inclines.


But as you can see, with a bit of faith in the instructions and suddenly you've got an offroad adventure on your hands.

 

The setting at the Dragon's Tooth Golf Course is ideal for the segways with plenty of flat smooth grassy terrain to get you started and plenty of more challenging tracks for when the big grin appears on your face. And catch it on a day as good as when we visited, and quite simply, it's stunning.

 

Glencoe Activities provide a wide range of other activities based both at the Dragon's Tooth, and at nearby locations.  We ran out of time on this visit to have a go at the archery and the crate stacking (I can feel a bit of a competition coming on), but hopefully we'll be back soon, with eyes firmly set on some canyoning at Inchree.

 

And with all the fantastic weather we've been enjoying lately, there's a real buzz at Clachaig now as the season begins to pick up. Some much to do.... The tick list for the coming summer season is growing rapidly.

As far as segways go, the advice must be put those inhibitions to one side, get yourself out there and get yourself a huge toothy grin on your face down at the Dragon's Tooth.

I wonder..? Glenachulish to Oban by segway?!